10/24/2014 ESA Meeting Agenda and Minutes

Agenda – 2nd ESA Meeting – 10/24/2014, 12 pm – 1:30 pm, 5409

Announcements (12:00 pm – 12:15 pm)

  1. Call meeting to order
  2.  Announce open Google doc for collaborative meeting notes
  3. Approve minutes from 09/19/14 meeting; next ESA meeting 11/14/2014
  4. Report on election results: Graduate Council: Elizabeth Goetz and Dadland Maye; English Program DSC representative: Hilarie Ashton
  5. Report on update of ESA website to include ESA meeting minutes from previous years
  6. Report on ESA bulletin boards
  7. Report on student-submitted Friday Forum events (“What Can a Dissertation Do?: Models and Methods of Non-Traditional Dissertations Written by Alumnae”; “What’s Your ‘Other’ Project”; “Nakedness and Nudity: A Transhistorical Roundtable”; “Periodizing the Twentieth Century”)
  8. Question: Amendments to the agenda

Reports from Committees and Student Representatives (12:15 pm – 12:25 pm)

Actions (12:25 pm – 1:30 pm)

  1. Discussion and vote: Resolution to make the ESA a PSA with the DSC (5 min)
    • Proposed Resolution:
      RESOLVED, The English Student Association (ESA) will submit paperwork to become recognized as a Program Student Association (PSA) by the Doctoral Student Association (DSC).

This action is intended to increase lines of connection with and support from the DSC, as well as increase opportunities for ESA-led fundraising.

  1. Discussion and vote:  Student Participation in Friday Forum proposal and selection  (15 min)
    • Report: Two (2) ESA volunteers for Friday Forum Selection Committee (for Spring 2015)
    • Discussion and Vote: Friday Forum Resolution Proposals
  1. Discussion and vote: ESA budget and vote on uses of funds (10 min)
    • ESA budget received from DSC: $1275 for Fall 2014
    • Discuss rough estimate of funds to be used for Fall 2014 Revels
    • Discuss requests for use of funds from “Trance” (spring) and “British Women’s Literature” conference organizers
    • VOTE to commit ESA funds for conferences from which the ESA has received requests

This discussion and action is intended to put decisions regarding primary uses of ESA funds to ESA members.

  1. Discussion of MLA and role of ESA in relation to Program and vote to commit funds (15 min)
    • Report on results of MLA inquiry to ESA-L and recent alumni
    • Discuss of role of ESA and English Program for MLA, particularly in area of job search support.
    • Proposed Resolution:
      Resolved, the English Student Association will NOT contribute funds for an ESA suite at the 2015 MLA conference in Vancouver
  2. Discussion and Vote: BDS Resolution before the DSC (20 min)
    • Discuss BDS resolution currently before the DSC, with time for questions or clarifications, and suggestions for modification to the resolution.  A move towards a vote by the ESA that will be a public statement by the ESA in either support or non-support of the BDS resolution as it is currently worded before the DSC.
    • Proposed Resolution:
      Resolved, the English Student Association (ESA), in its capacity as governing body representative of all English Program students, fully endorses and supports the passage of the Resolution for the Endorsement of Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions (BDS) in the Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC).

Meeting Minutes – 2nd ESA Meeting – 10/24/2014, 12 pm – 1:30 pm, 5409

Meeting called to order at 12:00pm
31 members present:

Jennifer Alberghini, Hilarie Ashton, Balthazar Becker, Esther Bernstein, Hillel Broder, Marissa Brostoff, Iemanja Brown, Chris Eng, Tonya Foster, Michael Druffel, Becky Fullan, Liz Goetz, Paul Hebert, Rasheed Hinds, Sarah Ruth Jacobs, Sean Kennedy, Makeba Lavan, Dadland Maye, Velina Manolova, Kaitlin Mondello, Jason Nielsen, Conor Tomas Reed!, Michael Rumone, Danica Savonick, Erin Spampinato, Yair Solan, Maria Stracke, Ulku Tekten, Charlotte Thurston, Elly Weybright, Justin Van Wormer


  1. Election results:
    Graduate Council: Elizabeth Goetz and Dadland Maye
    English Program DSC representative: Hilarie Ashton
  2. Report on update of ESA website; it now includes ESA meeting minutes from previous years
  3. Report on ESA bulletin boards
  4. Report on student-submitted Friday Forum events: “What Can a Dissertation Do?: Models and Methods of Non-Traditional Dissertations Written by Alumnae”; “What’s Your ‘Other’ Project”; “Nakedness and Nudity: A Transhistorical Roundtable;” and “Periodizing the Twentieth Century”
  5. VOTE (unanimous)
    RESOLVED, The English Student Association (ESA) will submit paperwork to become recognized as a Program Student Association (PSA) by the Doctoral Student Association (DSC).
  6. VOTE (unanimous)
    WHEREAS, the English Program has made a commitment to student participation in all English Program governance, and
    WHEREAS, the English Program students have not regularly been given the opportunity to submit Friday Forum Proposals without faculty support, and WHEREAS, the English Program Student Association (ESA) currently has no representation on the Friday Forum Selection Committee, and WHEREAS, the English Program Bylaws is the sole document which guarantees the rights of students to sit on specific committees,
    The ESA, as the officially recognized representative of the English Program students, RESOLVES that the Friday Forum Proposal form should be distributed on the ENGL-L by the second week of each semester, and
    RESOLVES that no faculty contact information or affiliation be required for the submission of such forms, and
    RESOLVES that two (2) ESA student representatives, elected by the ESA following the ESA bylaws, sit as voting members on the Friday Forum Selection Committee with four (4) faculty representatives, and
    RESOLVES that these committee positions should be included in the English Program Bylaws and ESA bylaws as following the usual ESA election process.
  7. VOTE (unanimous)
    RESOLVED, the English Student Association (ESA) will commit funds to the 2015 ESA Conference, Trance, ($500) and the 2015 British Women Writers Conference ($200).
    An adhoc committee on Job Professionalization formed with the following two tasks:

    • Write resolution(s) for the ESA to consider that make clear the English Program students’ expectations for English Program support at the yearly MLA conference.
    • Make recommendations on how the ESA could conduct an assessment of current English Program Job Professionalization support.
      CURRENT MEMBERS: Esther Bernstein, Michael Druffel, Erin Spampinato, and Elissa Myers (ESA is still looking for volunteers) 
  9. VOTE (30 for; 9 against; 4 abstain – 13 proxies appointed)
    RESOLVED, the English Student Association (ESA), in its capacity as governing body representative of all English Program students, fully endorses and supports the passage of the Resolution for the Endorsement of Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions (BDS) in the Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC).

ESA Committee Reports

Admissions and Financial Aid

Meredith Benjamin; Benjamin Miller; Melina Moore; Kristen Moriah; Frances Tran

Admissions committee will meet in January. In the meantime, committee members have been sent instructions for how to certify that we can maintain confidentiality with regard to the application materials.

Elizabeth Goetz; Erin Spampinato

Erin and I are beginning to plan an alt-ac panel featuring a mix of alumni and non-GC-affiliated speakers for–ideally–a Friday Forum slot sometime this spring. We are currently in the process of contacting to Jenny Furlong in the career services office to see if she has any ideas.

Also, Joe Heissan has sent an email to me and Hilarie the other day asking if we could send out a donation appeal before the end of the month, which would apparently require permission from Mario and borrowing Nancy’s GC computer log-in. We’d also need to designate someone to respond to any replies alums send back (i.e., Nancy would forward them to whoever we designate as a point person, and that person would write back “thanks!” to alums or forward anything much more complex on to the department or the ESA). If it’s cool with you guys, it sounds like it would be pretty straightforward to do.

Iemanja Brown; Karen Lepri; Talia Shalev; Wendy Tronud


Course Assessment
Jennifer Alberghini; Robert Greco; Mikey Rumore; Maria Stracke; Elly Weybright

We have thought about trying to get the student surveys done online (but worry that fewer students will participate if left to their own devices). We will speak with Nancy about having the results available somewhere online (but not sure if this is possible) rather than, or in addition to, in those huge binders in the lounge. We are also planning to review the survey questions and suggest changes where we see fit.

Elizabeth Lenn Decker; Wendy Tronud

The full Curriculum Committee is meeting on November 4th to outline goals and tasks for the year. Chris Eng will to attend as Wendy and Elizabeth teach at this time. As per Wendy’s suggestion, Mario will bring up comp exam issues at the first meeting.

Diversity Committee
Rasheed Hinds; Sean Kennedy; Mekeba Lavan; Velina Manolova; Danica Savonick; Simone White

  • Objectives: 1. To work with OEODP in further bolstering the support and professional development of current minoritized students. 2. To identify any issues particular to the program that we might wish to bring to the attention of the faculty membership committee, the curriculum committee, executive committee, and so on. 3. To work with MFFC and other student groups to ensure that we have a strong and current sense of emerging and ongoing issues we might address.
  • TODAY – pedagogies of embodiment Friday Forum 4 pm
  • April 17 event “Navigating the Academy: on institutionality and embodiment”
    • 12-3 pedagogies of difference
    • 4-6 navigating the academy from the perspective of scholar-administrators
  • Professional development
    • Duncan Faherty is willing to host an abstract workshop. What would be most helpful to students? When should it occur? Duncan suggested November or December. You can email me (danicasavonick@gmail.com) or Duncan (Duncan.Faherty@qc.cuny.edu) with suggestions.
    • Faculty are working towards having some kind of event or conversation around the topic of faculty responses & support for students of color
  • Possibility of a reading group (either in conjunction with April’s “institutionality and embodiment” or not
    • Let someone from diversity committee know if this is something you would be interested in
  • Committee is organizing a series, similar to “New Directions in Af Am Studies,” that will focus on Latino/Latina and Chicano/Chicana studies…bring scholars to the program with an eye towards a potential future hire
    • Contact diversity committee reps to voice your priorities: Latino/Latina, Chicano/Chicana, settler colonialism, etc.

Alyssa Mackenzie; Alec Magnet

The elections committee has nothing to report. Wheee!

Joseph Bowling; Becky Fullan; Amanda Licastro; Yair Solan

  • Each year the Provost’s Office asks the English dept to assess one area of the program and this year they’re looking at professional development. Students should be on the lookout for an email from the dept asking about their experiences with professionalization in the program to identify what’s working as well as future goals.
  • Faculty hires: The Faculty Membership Committee can speak in more detail about the various hires – but in short, there was a vote in favor of Karl Steel for the Medievalist position. There are currently ongoing Comp/Rhet and Modernism searches.
  • New language exam options (computer coding, musicology, etc.) have been communicated, to good response from students.

Faculty Membership
Chris Eng; Andrew Lucchesi

Hope this e-mail finds you well on this rainy day. Andrew Lucchesi and I are the elected student representatives on the Faculty Membership Committee for this academic year.

As mentioned in Mario’s email , the committee will be drafting a five-year plan and it’s crucial to get your input, so that all students (and not just faculty) get to have a say in this process. Please do take the time to fill out the survey and submit it by November 3rd. If you feel uncomfortable sharing your feedback with Mario, feel free to send your thoughts to me or Andrew. We could always remove your name and forward your responses anonymously to Mario and the committee. You may also do so in submitting feedback for any of the upcoming job talks.

Hilarie Ashton; Sean Gerrity; Nate Mickelson

Met with Joe Heissan, DSC coordinator for Alumni and Fundraising. The Committee also met to set long-term and short-term goals.

Roya Biggie; Laura Eldridge; Megan Paslawski; Melissa Phruksachart


Jamie Shearn Coan; Robert Greco; Kaitlin Modello; Mikaylah Zagoria-Moffett

The Recruitment Committee recently helped host an Admissions Workshop/Information Meeting on Friday, October 17, 2014, at 4pm, in the English Program Lounge (Room 4406). The event was for students interested in pursuing a PhD in English, or graduate study more generally, especially African American and Latino/Latina students and others from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Over 40 prospective students attended the event. The event was advertised to CUNY and other local area colleges and universities via mail, flyers, email and social media.

The event’s agenda consisted of brief talks by faculty speakers Nancy Yousef (welcome) and Eric Lott (on diversity in academia), followed by a panel of 3 students with different paths to the PhD (Makeeba Lavan, Rose Tomassi and Sean Molloy). Mario DiGangi moderated the panel and Q&A. Most questions related to the personal statement, writing sample and GRE exams. Also announced at the event were student members of the Mentoring Future Faculty of Color group who attended the event. Additionally, numerous current students and faculty came to welcome the attendees.

Following the panel, students divided up into smaller break-out groups run by several faculty who have worked closely with Admissions (Mario DiGangi, Carrie Hintz, Alan Vardy and Nancy Yousef) along with former ESA members of the Admissions committee (Joseph Bowling, Chris Eng, Kristian Huang and Kristin Moriah). The main focus of the break-out sessions was a workshop on the personal statement with 3 sample statements volunteered from admitted students currently in Year 1. Attendees were given these samples, as well as a list of tips for the personal statement and application.

Feedback forms from the attendees are being reviewed currently. Preliminary feedback suggests the event was helpful to prospective students gave a positive impression about our program. Continued work of the committee will be to assess the event and the feedback forms.

Dale Ireland; Sarah Ruth Jacobs; Trace Peterson; Mikayla Zagoria-Moffet

Our goals thus far are to make student events simpler to submit and oversee, to make the site feature more dynamic student content, and to send out a brief survey on what English program students would like to see on the site. To reach these goals we are investigating plugins to make a student events calendar that can be instantly added to and updated by all site users. We are also considering adding an automatic feed of student blog posts (if enough students with active academic blogs are interested) in the right sidebar and a list of recent student publications (in addition to the books that are already on the site). We are going to fix the sidebar Twitter feed and link to the ESA Facebook page on the site.

Another idea to consider is live tweeting events. Maybe we should encourage all English students to use the #gcenglish Twitter hashtag at English-related events? We could use the hashtag to create an additional stream on the ESA site.

English Program DSC Representatives
Hilarie Ashton; Balthazar Becker; Charlotte Thurston


Graduate Council
Elizabeth Goetz; Dadland Maye

10/15 was the first meeting. There is discussion regarding providing funding for graduate housing.